Some thoughts and guidelines on publishing
The number of publications from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel steadily increases year by year.
This not only yields better publication and citation “scores” for the university, but also higher funding. Research performance, measured by publications, citations and PhDs, is indeed an important parameter in Flemish government policy, aiming at increasingly internationally competitive universities. Optimal visibility of your research results is crucial for good communication towards colleaguesin the field, and thus for the “impact” of your research. All researchers are therefore strongly encouraged to actively participate in a good research publication culture.
- Publish your research results in media that are read by as many researchers as possible in your domain (and if possible also in other areas), including a selection of international journals with a peer review system 1.
- Publish your research results in media that are easily accessible (in any case its contents)to a large part of the academic world, for instance in open access journals or in journals included in the citation-indexes of Thomson Scientific 2.
- Provide as much as possible openly available full text versions of your publications, for instance in an institutional repository, on your own website or in a database organized by your research domain (always respecting rules set by editors or confidentiality agreements!).
- Enhance your and your team’s visibility in the international research community by collaborating with other research teams (in publications, projects, networks,...) and by referring to your partners and their work (in your publications, on your website,...).
- Take care that your correct and complete affiliation is mentioned in publications, in particular those that are finalized by co-authors. Mention the full university name “Vrije Universiteit Brussel” or “Erasmushogeschool Brussel” in Dutch, preferably accompanied by the abbreviation VUB or EhB and the address.
Register all your publications in the VUB PURE database. It provides a complete overview to colleagues in the field and is an important source for publication data and associated funding at university level.
- PURE is the source for mandatory information on research activities requested by the government, as a basis for its policy. Completeness and accuracy are therefore essential. Furthermore, PURE is used to legitimate funding from the Ministry of Education.
- The university makes use of PURE for policy-supporting research.
- PURE is used as a source for the annual report of the Research Council.
- PURE contains a curriculum vitae of every researcher, which forms the basis for academic personnel evaluations. Researchers can easily generate their personal CV.
- Every night, changes in PURE database are processed and shown in the online version on the website of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where all registered research activities can be freely consulted by the general public (journalists, research colleagues, prospecting companies).
...by presenting them to peers reviewing your manuscripts for publication. It is good practice to aim as high as possible and publish in the most authoritative media for your domain. Established researchers know which these are through experience and are expected to assist junior researchers in building up a respectable publication portfolio in view of their future careers. Regarding journals, a rough idea of the most influential ones in a particular domain can be obtained by consulting their impact factors 1), or their category in international journal lists 2).
- By “impact factor” one is usually referring to the one calculated by Thomson Scientific, available through the Web of Science. Other variants also exist. An impact factor is linked to a journal and describes how often an average article is cited. The citation impact of an article depends on its quality, but also on its visibility to the right audience.
The European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), an initiative of the European Science Foundation (ESF), involves lists of journals arranged in large categories per domain. These journal lists are to an important extent a reaction to the limited representation of disciplines from the Humanities in the Web of Science.
1. Publications listed in category ‘C’ in the VUB Academic Personnel regulations and R&D-Net.
2. While Thomson Scientific’s citation-indexes are a well-established data source for bibliometric studies, they do not represent all disciplines equally well, which is a well-known problem. Access through Web of Science: http://www.vub.ac.be/BIBLIO/, follow “SNEL NAAR” Web of Knowledge. Info on journal selection process: http://isiwebofknowledge.com/benefits/essays/journalselection/
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